When trying to rate podcasts there are a variety of things to consider. For beginners, the “best” podcast is something that is up for grabs. It’s not something anyone can really label. It comes down to Podcast content matching a person’s personal interests.
I’m not a large name of any sorts; I’m a singular opinion. I feel an opinion can spawn a following when the suggestions are enticing.
The Podcasts I will be pointing out will be ones of a darker variety. So, for starts, if butterflies and rainbows are your thing…you are in the wrong place.
Without further ado:
I have a love for just about anything scary. I must have been around 7 years old when I declared that my favorite movie was “A Nightmare on Elm Street”. Before thinking what the hell childhood did I live, I had a normal upbringing.
I just have a genuine interest in things that can make you stop in your tracks and wonder, “What was that?”
And so my quest began on looking for horror Podcasts, which believe it or not is far more challenging then one might think. As a listener there are a few things that really stick out such as: narration, topic matter, and the consistent release of episodes.
The horror genre of Podcasts is an area that tends to fall in one of two categories: fiction, or non-fiction. It’s all personal preference. This article is going to target fiction, and more specifically: The NoSleep Podcast and the work of author Marcus Damanda.
I want these posts to be fairly fast paced. For that reason I’m going to cliff note specific things so that I can expand on other points that I want these posts to be about, which is direction. Why you should listen to a particular Podcast, follow a specific author, and what episodes you should heavily consider checking out first.
With that in mind, here is what you need to know about the two listed above:
In my humble opinion, I don’t feel there is a Podcast that is on the same level as NoSleep. Since the very beginning of my Podcast listening experience NoSleep has kind of been my teacher regarding what to look for in a quality broadcast. The people behind the show show incredible enthusiasm, great work ethic, and genuine care for their fans.
On more then one occasion I have reached out to extend compliments toward narrators and authors and have found myself receiving responses. It may seem like a little thing, but to many listeners, hearing something back is a pretty big deal.
There will be a post in the near future going further into this show.
Marcus Damanda, from my personal experience, is a writer that has incredible talent. My first significant encounter with Marcus’s work was in a NoSleep Podcast, Season 7 Episode 3: “Bonfire Girls”
I should point out, I don’t mean to ignore the fact it has a prequel, “Wearing Black,” but Bonfire Girls was the one that really caught my attention. The story began as a tale of curiosity that dove into the world of darkness and influence driven by it. For someone like myself, it was like handing a lover of classics some Shakespearean text that hadn’t yet been discovered, I was hooked.
I reached out to Marcus on numerous occasions and it was always a pleasant experience. I learned about other content he had available through sources such as Audible and Amazon. Clicking either of those attractive blue links will bring you directly to his pages.
Marcus has the ability to capture emotions felt in dark and gloomy times and paint them with artistic precision. He works hand in hand with Jessica McEvoy, an incredibly talented narrator. Together they bring some of the best content I’ve ever run into.
Interview with Marcus
How did you initially become involved with the NoSleep Podcast and what would you say about your experience thus far?
A: I became involved with the NoSleep Podcast thanks to Jessica McEvoy, which I’m sure can’t be too much of a surprise. She was a relatively new narrator of theirs at the time, and was actually narrating her first audiobook for me. That was The Forever Show, and it was my first audiobook as well. It’s pretty bloody for a young adult vampire book, but at one point she asked me if I ever wrote anything more in the adult realm. I answered, “Well, yeah, sure. That’s the audience I started with.” She asked if I would consider submitting a story to David Cummings and the podcast.
They were still a bi-weekly show at the time, episode 7 of Season 4. I dug my old 90s tribute to Edgar Allan Poe, American White Hair, out of my drawer of old, forgotten stories. Ten productions later, the rest, as they say, is history.
What is the inspiration behind your writing? Are there particular things that motivate you to write on the topics that you do?
A: I love make-believe. So much more interesting than real life. I used to stay up late as a kid, back when cable channels only showed R-rated films after hours, and sneak downstairs to watch them. That’s how I first saw The Omen, Halloween, stuff like that. I was mesmerized, damaged, and forever hooked.
What is your favorite “darker” theme to write about in your stories? The reference to servants of a darker being is consistent, but is there something more to it?
A: My favorite “dark” theme to write on is revenge, which was the impetus behind American White Hair, Super Max Dreams, The Paris Green Solution–good God, there must be something seriously wrong with me.
You and Jessica McEvoy make an excellent team together. As someone that has dabbled with writing and narration a little on my own I’ve run into a few of the challenges of writing and performing tales.
Do you find yourself having to make changes in the way stories are written so that they can be narrated more effectively? Or what exactly is your process for when a story is considered “ready to be narrated”?
A: Jessica’s been the narrator for four of my audiobooks now, and has either narrated or shared a lead in every one of my podcast stories. She’s absolutely amazing, of course. I’m so grateful for our partnership and hope it continues for a long, long time. I will say, straight off the bat when I begun the Summer series, I had Jessica’s voice in my head the whole way. There’s no doubt that heavily influenced the way those four stories took shape. For that matter, so does the prospect of having the story on the podcast. I find myself dropping as many details as I can that I think might sound cool. I know I totally had that top of mind when I thought of the shock treatment story angle in Eating the Machine. I knew Jeff Clement, the Summer Stories’ producer, would kill that.
What would you say have been the largest challenges in developing as a writer? What advice would you give those looking to get into these kinds of literary experiences?
A: My biggest challenge is finding the time. Teaching can be an all-consuming job, and I come home exhausted most days. I set my alarm for 4 A.M. to write instead of staying up late to do it. And I have the same dry spells and frustrations as any person who writes, paints, composes, etc. All I can say is to work through it. Take criticism, when it’s constructive. And the hardest thing? Ignore the haters. That really is tough for me. I want everyone in my audience to be happy with what I do, all the time.
What are your personal goals when it comes to content creation? Are you hoping to achieve a particular milestone of sorts? Or is it something you do strictly for fun?
A: My big dream is to have one of my stories adapted as a major motion picture. That’s been the dream since I was nine years old, and I haven’t given up on it yet. I do write for fun, but I also write for approval (disgusting, I know, but I promised myself I’d give you only the truth) and for the hope of one day being shamelessly and filthy rich.
What Podcasts do you personally listen to and what do you like about them?
A: Apart from NoSleep, which should be required listening for every adult human on the planet, I’m also a massive fan of Lore. Educational and horrifying–hits me right where I live, so to speak.
Lastly, is there anything you would like to say directly to the fans of your work? Along with any announcements regarding what they can expect from you in the near future?
A: To anyone who’s ever enjoyed any one of my stories, let me say that I am the lucky one. I will continue to work very hard to keep you in my audience. In the upcoming months, as time allows, I’m hoping to bring the Summer series to a close with three more installments. I’m also at work on something totally different, which I hope NoSleep will take on once it’s good enough to ship off. Not only that, but Jessica just finished recording my Devil in Miss Drake’s Class audiobook series, and I’m more than halfway through the second Salvation State novel.
Marcus is an artist in the field of imagination that stands out. He takes time to work on things he is passionate about and shares ideas with those that are willing to listen.
I strongly suggest you check out everything he has to offer. If you haven’t found him on NoSleep yet then now is your time to.
Again, thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions Marcus and best of luck with your current and coming soon projects. I look forward to seeing what you have to deliver.